Beauty of Bulbs

tulip, flower, garden, beautiful
Use mass plantings of the one species but in different colours. Tulips.

If you want to enjoy a cheery spring display
of flowering bulbs, start planning now

Autumn begins, it is time to decide which species of bulbs you would like to plant in your garden for a spring display. And if you choose well, bulbs planted now will generally flower in late winter and early summer too, not just in spring.

Growing conditions
There are bulb species suited to every climate but most need to be planted in autumn as the cooler ground temperatures promote flowering. The warmer your climate, the later in autumn you need to plant your bulbs. Most bulbs require an open sunny site with welldrained soil. It is important to have the soil well prepared before planting as it is difficult to improve the soil once the bulbs are planted without disturbing them.

Colour effects
Flowering bulb species are available in every colour of the rainbow, allowing you to create many different looks. For a pretty, relaxing effect, use white flowers and pastel shades of blue and pink randomly mixed together. For example, you could plant out a garden border or a collection of pots with white snowdrops, bluebells and pink tulips.
For an eye-catching look, use mass plantings of the one species but in different colours. You need to use the one species to ensure they will flower at similar times. For example, you could use blocks of red, yellow and orange tulips would to create bold, almost dramatic look.

flower, beautiful, bulb, cheeriest
Daffodils prefer full- or half-sun locations. They are synonymous with spring and the cheeriest of flowers.
Size and layout
To work out the best layout, you need to know how high the flowers and foliage will grow. Many bulbs have leaves that will sit lower than the flowers; some will have the single flower stem first and then the leaves will shoot through later in the season. If you are planting out in a linear style and the area will only be viewed from one side, use taller, bushier bulbs towards the back of the bed and plant smaller, more delicate bulbs closer to the front.
Depending on the species and your climate, you may be able to leave the bulbs in the garden after they flower. This will mean the bulbs will spread, taking up more area each year. If leaving bulbs in the ground, mark where they are or draw a plan of where they are growing so you don’t accidentally dig them up when gardening at other times of the year.

flower, garden, sunny, beautiful
Freesias come in an array of colours and like freedraining oil and a sunny location. Ideal for cut flowers.
Flowering times 
It may take a few springs to work out the exact flowering times in your garden as these will diff er depending on the plant species, general climate and diff erent microclimates within your garden but armed with this knowledge, you will be able to orchestrate different types of displays. You might want to have just one area of the garden planted with bulbs to create a spectacular seasonal display for a few weeks. Alternatively, you may like to use a variety of bulbs scattered throughout the garden. This more informal approach enables you to have bulbs flowering in your garden from late winter right through to summer.

Planting ideas -Cooler-climate bulbs: Spider lilies, cyclamens, snowdrops, snowflakes, lily of   the valley, bluebells, crocus, hyacinth, alliums and daff odils.
-Warmer-climate bulbs: Jonquils, ranunculus, watsonia, freesias, baboon flowers, belladonna lilies, corn lilies, dahlias and hippeastrum.

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